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Two Alliance members win awards at SPJ awards banquet

NEW HAVEN, May 25 -- Two Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance members took home Excellence in Journalism awards from the Connecticut chapter's annual Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) awards banquet.

Writing for the Middletown Press, Jimmy Zanor earned a first place award for his sports column on former Giants coach Tom Coughlin.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., of the Collinsville Press took home a first place award for his sports column on how an Avon mother and daughter shared the school record in the 100 meters for a few weeks and his sports news story on Simsbury senior Danny Deitz, who had received a heart transplant about a year earlier, catching a touchdown pass in a win over Enfield.

DeSImas took home a second place award for his story on the Canton High girls basketball team beating Thomaston to win their first-ever state championship.

Below are results in the sports writing and photography competition.

Sports Column

Regional A

(1) How a phone call from Adam Greenberg helped change a kid’s life; New Haven Register; David Borges

(2) No limits, a lot of heart; Hartford Courant; Jeff Jacobs

(3) Strength, kindness, faith; Waterbury Republican-American; Joe Palladino

Regional B

(1) A personal thank you to Tom Coughlin; Middletown Press; Jimmy Zanor


(1) Like mother, like daughter. For a while, Avon mom and daughter shared school record in 100 meters;; Gerry deSimas, Jr.

Sports Feature

Regional A

(1) Overcoming loss, growing together; Hartford Courant; Lori Riley

(2) From boys to men: Weaver just missed state title, but players grew in to champs; Hartford Courant; Tom Yantz

(3) Ex-Husky Donyell Marshall takes new challenge; Hartford Courant; Desmond Conner

Regional B

(1) Bears give back to girls’ basketball players across the world in Uganda; The Day; Vickie Fulkerson

(2) Coaches emerge from NFA; Norwich Bulletin; Owen Poole

(3) Norwich trainer fights to get back in the ring; Norwich Bulletin; Brett Poirier

Regional C

(1) LumberJill; News 12; John Dempsey, Kylee Knoles

(2) Drag queen; News 12; Jim Mennino, Robert Cook


(1) Disc golf keeps growing at a rapid pace; Guilford Courier; PJ Foti

Sports News

Regional A

(1) Play ball! Not. ; Hartford Courant; Kenneth R. Gosselin, Steven Goode

(2) Jalen Adams miracle shot keeps Huskies alive; Hartford Courant; Dom Amore

(3) Diaco out after lost season; Hartford Courant; Mike Anthony

Regional B

(1) Team calls out "Hitler" play; Greenwich Time; Linda Conner Lambeck

Regional D (Broadcast)

(1) Chasing a dream; News 12; Mark Sudol, Robert Cook

(2) To have a vision; News 12; Christopher Wood, Marissa Alter


(1) Deitz, who received a heart transplant, scores TD in Simsbury’s win over Enfield;; Gerry deSimas, Jr.

(2) Canton girls shut down Thomaston to win first-ever state championship;; Gerry deSimas, Jr.

Sports Photo

Regional A

(1) Tagged out; Waterbury Republican-American; Jim Shannon

(2) Career vs. Cross basketball game; New Haven Register; Peter Hvizdak

(3) Yale vs. Dartmouth football; New Haven Register; Arnold Gold

Regional B

(1) Football hurdle; The Day; Sean D. Elliot

(2) Missed tag; Greenwich Time; Tyler Sizemore

(3) Fitch walks off with title in another 1-run thriller; Norwich Bulletin; John Shishmanian


(1) Up, up and away; Branford Eagle; Bill O'Brien

(2) Taking sail in Branford; The Sound; Kelley Fryer

Competition categories

Regional A

  • Connecticut Health Investigative Team

  • Connecticut Mirror

  • Connecticut Post

  • Hartford Courant

  • New Haven Register

  • Waterbury Republican American

  • Any Hearst Connecticut collaboration

  • Any Digital First Media collaboration

Regional B

  • Connecticut Law Tribune

  • CT News Junkie

  • Danbury News-Times

  • Manchester Journal-Inquirer

  • Meriden Record Journal

  • Norwich Bulletin

  • Stamford Advocate

  • The Day (New London)

  • Catholic Transcript

  • CT Latino News

  • Greater New Milford Spectrum

  • Litchfield County Times

  • Middletown Press

  • New Britain Herald

  • Register Citizen

  • The Chronicle

  • The Hour

  • Fairfield County Business Journal

Regional C (Magazines)

  • AAA Journeys and AAA Horizons

  • Connecticut Magazine

  • Hartford Magazine

  • New Haven Living Magazine

  • Connecticut Parent Magazine

Regional D (Broadcast)

  • WTNH

  • WFSB

  • WTIC

  • WNPR

  • WSHU

  • News12


  • Citizens News

  • Collinsville

  • Hersam Acorn weeklies

  • Shore Publishing weeklies

  • TurleyCT publications

  • New Britain City Journal


  • Online Journalism Project publications

  • Digital First Media weeklies

  • Hearst Connecticut weeklies

* Note: Any item that appeared in a higher circulation publication should be entered in that circulation class, not in the hyperlocal circulation.

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